Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Race Day Surprises

On race day you always hope for the best. You hope all the training you did falls into place and nothing goes wrong. With my race coming up in two weeks, I can't help but get excited to finally get another race under my belt. I know surprises on race day are always a possibility because boy have I had my share of surprises! Now I have been running for a few years, so I feel like I have seen it all when it comes to mishaps. Watch, I say this now but come two weeks from now I'll be cursing I ever mentioned it. Here are five race day surprises I've had throughout the years:

  • FORGETTING ELECTRONICS/CLOTHES: I like to do a lot of out of town races, so I really try to plan and pack everything in advance. Of course there have been times when I forget something. One time I forgot my compression pants! Luckily I had an extra pair of shorts that I was using as pajamas.  I was able to use them for a very cold race in San Francisco.  

  • UNEXPECTED RACE DAY: This one is kind of embarrassing. A group of us traveled to Nashville for their Rock N Roll Race two years ago and I swear the race was on Sunday. Most races are always on Sunday! Of course I was wrong and completely surprised when it was on Saturday.  I literally thought my friends were playing a big joke on me...nope!
  • GARMIN/MUSIC MALFUNCTIONS: Running a race with a dead uncharged Garmin is beyond frustrating. Another annoyance is when I do happen to charge my Garmin, but for some reason it just decides to die on me half way through the race. The same applies to my music. Sometimes my Pandora music just decides to take a dump on me right when I need it most. Music is one of my biggest motivators during my runs, so not having it available takes a hit on me.
  • STOMACH ISSUES: Oh yet another embarrassing race day surprise.  There is a reason they tell you not to try new things (food) on race day. Not only do you have to deal with nerves that make your stomach flip, but trying new food just messes up your digestive system.  The end result can be quite dirty. I am sure you catch my drift. I can guarantee you it will happen to you at least once (if it hasn't already happened to you). Just make sure you know where the bathrooms are located at all times!

  • UNEXPECTED WEATHER: I am not a fan of running in the heat...AT ALL! I absolutely hate it. My first triathlon I remember it was expected to be in the high 90s.  I remember praying for cooler temperature since it had been 98 degrees the day before. Well that night it rained! I was so happy when I woke up and realized how cold it was. Complete and drastic temperature change from the previous day. The cold lake water was actually warmer than out the water. This was an awesome surprise!


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

 I am linking up with with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,  Mar from Mar On The Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What? for Friday Five.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Delicious Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread Recipe!

It has been awhile since I had baked anything from scratch. Two weekends ago I made some cupcakes for our house warming party but they were made from a box. They were great and easy to make but I really love baking something from the very beginning. Cooking and baking is kind of a little stress reliever for me. Some things turn out great while others unfortunately don't turn out the way they are supposed to. Baking really is all about chemistry. One wrong ingredient can really screw it all up. Luckily last night I seemed to get it all right.  

Since my bananas were ripe, my natural instinct was to bake something with them. I asked my husband if he had a preference and he chose banana nut bread. He tends to like having some type of pastry with his coffee in the morning.  He used to always get the banana nut bread from Starbucks but now that we have a Keurig I try to have some type of pastry available to him. I love to make banana bread and I am constantly trying to make a recipe that is healthier but still tastes just as great. This time around I decided to make this bread with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. The end result was a moist delicious banana nut bread. 


Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Finding Balance When Training for a Race

The last few weeks have been kind of a whirlwind. I have been training for an upcoming race but I have also been trying to enjoy the summer. It's my first summer back in San Diego so I have definitely been trying to enjoy my time here.  But of course the fun seems to interfere with my training. It's been interesting trying to find a balance between the two. 

Let's be honest, my training has been hard to do given a number of reasons. The reasons seem to be piling up. I'm either tired from night shift, my plantar fasciitis is acting up, my ankles are sore, or I am just too tired. My body is still trying to adjust to my vampire hours.  Some days are better than others, but my night shift hours have somehow managed to also affect my metabolism. I feel sluggish and absolutely hate feeling like I have no control over my body.  Oh and let's not forget this amazing weather that San Diego has! Makes it hard to workout when all you want to do is anything but that.

I've been running around 10-15 miles a week for the most part this summer. I have been slowly increasing my mileage in hopes to be ready for my next race. To be honest it really isn't that much, but I've been doing as much as I can.  I am still hoping it will be enough by the time race day starts.  I am still hopeful since most of my training has been on hills by my neighborhood.  The hills have sucked and have been painful to do after work shifts but I am still out there racking in some miles. 

I only have a few weeks left but I am still hopeful that I can get it done. It won't be pretty and I won't PR but I sure as hell am going to do my best!  Summer races are not really my thing but I made a commitment to do this one and I am sticking through it. The only perk about this race is that I get to spend the weekend at one of my best friend's place. Her husband will also be running the race.  I am super excited to see her and her family. Mostly I am excited about having a good drink with great friends! See this is where the balance comes into play.  :)

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Friday, July 3, 2015

20 Questions Running Survey

Who doesn't love a good running survey? :)

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?
I absolutley love both locations but lately I have really been enjoying my beach runs. They are so relaxing and beautiful.

2. If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?
I am a fan of the blue flavor but for some reason they always just have the yellow kind. I can't stand that one!
3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
Running shoes! That one is a no brainer...I recently had the pleasure of experiencing this too :)

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?
Depends on my goals. For expample right now I am training for my next race in August but I am not going for a PR. This race is all about hills so my training is just about tackling hills.
5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?
Since I am not a fan of hills, I would much rather tackle them at the beginning jsut to get it over with.
6. When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?
I like to ride my bike and take different workout classes. Zumba is always fun.
7. What is your preference—> Out and back, point to point or loop runs?
Either one is fine but I tend to do more out and back runs.
8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>
Invest on a Garmin or any type of running trainer. Best thing I have ever purchased for running!

9. Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?
I've seen coyotes but that is about as wild as it gets.
10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
Nope! I need to know where I am going at all time. I'll prep and plan the night before if I am out somewhere new.
11. If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?
Hmmm...I am not sure about a meal but I would love nice juicy watermelon especially during this summer heat.
12. Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?
I can't run in shorts...I chafe way too much. Actually have scars from it. Sorry TMI!
13. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?
Around mile 2-3 I really start to warm up. The first mile I am cursing myself, Why am I doing this?!?
14. What do you do with your key when you run?
I either place it in the hidden pocket on my pants/capris or my SpiBelt.
15. If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?
I would love to relive my first half marathon. It was the greatest feeling crossing that finish line for the Nike Women's Half Marathon. I honeslty worked my butt off for this one!
16. What type of run is your least favorite type of run?
I am not a fan of hills but lately that is all I've been doing.
17. What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?
My weight gain...nothing motivates yout to get out there than your clothes no longer fitting you.
18. When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?
I can do both. When I need some really nice views to motivate me then I drive somewhere.

19. When running in daylight—> are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?
A total must! I love running with my RayBans.

20. When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?
I tell myself my favorite running mantra, "The body achieves, what the mind believes."

Other places you can find me:
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Places to Run in San Diego: Cowles Mountain

When I first moved back to San Diego, the first place I went to for a quick workout was Cowles Mountain. The hike is a great, quick and free hike! It is no surprise it is one of the most popular spots to check out in San Diego with 360 degree views of this beautiful city. 

Cowles Mountain is located within the city limits of San Diego, California in the San Carlos neighborhood. From downtown San Diego it takes about 15-20 minutes to get there. Since this spot is very popular, parking is always an issue. The parking lot is very tiny so the next bet is parking in the neighborhood streets. 

There are two different entrances to climb Cowles. I have yet to hike the back way, so I always enter from the main entrance. There are bathrooms located there before you start and a bit of information about the hike. Currently there are heat warnings for dogs. Yes this is a very dog friendly hike. You'll find doggie bags throughout the 1.5 mile hike to the top and water bowls for our canine friends.

The mountain is named after George A. Cowles, an early ranching pioneer in San Diego County. Its 1,593-foot (486 m) summit has an elevation change of about 950 feet (290 m).  Immediately starting the hike you get to see amazing views. 

There are other trails you can follow along, but I have yet to try them out.  The Cowles Mountain trail is very well marked. In 2013, it was closed for maintenance and they made several improvements to water drainage and rock steps. 

Reaching to the top is such an absolute rush. The views at the top make the hike completely worth it. People either run or walk up this hike. It's tough to run but you see people do it all the time. Wether you come first thing in the morning, midday, or evening this place is always packed with people. I would say that would be the only negative aspect about this hike...the amount of people.  I've come here during different times of the day but by far my favorite time to come is the evening to see the sunset. 

So if you happen to need the great outdoors, I would highly recommend going out for this hike. Trust me when I say this hike will make you appreciate all that you have. Life is a blessing so live each day to its fullest.

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner